Navigation Links
U of M study finds new insight on therapy for a devastating parasitic disease
Date:6/23/2009

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (June 23, 2009) University of Minnesota Medical School researchers have discovered an important new insight into how a commonly prescribed drug may work to treat those infected by a parasitic flatworm.

The Schistosomasis parasite infects about 200 million people in tropical areas worldwide and is endemic in more than 70 countries, where people become infected simply by bathing, drinking, or cooking water contaminated with the flatworm. Although not immediately deadly, left untreated, the disease can permanently damage the lungs, kidney, liver, and intestines and ultimately lead to death.

A drug called praziquantel has been used as the main treatment for Schistosomiasis for several decades, but surprisingly, scientists have never understood how this drug works to kill the parasitic worms that cause this disease. Deciphering how this drug works is important because scientists could design new drugs that work in similar ways should the parasites develop resistance to praziquantel.

While working in a different species of flatworm widely used to study the basic principles of regenerative biology, researchers in the Pharmacology Department discovered that praziquantel caused a simple, striking effect: the drug subverts normal regeneration to produce two-headed organisms. This simple observation was then used to screen for genes required to control this effect, leading to the identification of molecules that control the effects of praziquantel within a flatworm model.

"Our discovery of this new biological activity of praziquantel provides a foundation for defining the relevant in vivo targets of a very important clinical drug," said Jonathan Marchant, M.A. Ph.D., principal investigator of the study. "Using drugs to make organisms grow two brains may seem bizarre, but the knowledge we gained illustrates the importance of basic scientific research."

The study is published in the June 23 issue of PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

"Discoveries by researchers working in diverse animal models not linked with disease frequently provide insight into long-standing clinical problems," Marchant said. "Basic science feeds into the therapeutic pipeline in unpredictable ways and it is important to foster such diversity."


'/>"/>

Contact: Nick Hanson
hans2853@umn.edu
612-624-2449
University of Minnesota
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Study shows Chronix technology using serum DNA can identify early presence of disease
2. Study of agricultural watersheds and carbon losses
3. MSU lands $2.1 million grant to take part in national autism study
4. Study highlights massive imbalances in global fertilizer use
5. Humans related to orangutans, not chimps, says new Pitt, Buffalo Museum of Science study
6. U of Minnesota-led study finds that hunters are depleting lion and cougar populations
7. UBC researchers develop new method to study gambling addictions
8. CU-Boulder study shows Maya intensively cultivated manioc 1,400 years ago
9. IUPUI study finds living near fast food outlet not a weighty problem for kids
10. Study shows transfer of heavy metals from water to fish in Huelva estuary
11. Shortcuts of the mind lead to miscalculations of weight and caloric intake, says Penn study
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/22/2016)... PROVO and SANDY, ... Screening Ontario (NSO), which operates the highest sample volume ... testing, and Tute Genomics and UNIConnect, leaders in clinical ... today announced the launch of a project to establish ... testing panel. NSO has been contracted ...
(Date:3/15/2016)... 2016 --> --> ... Market Research "Digital Door Lock Systems Market - Global Industry ... the global digital door lock systems market in terms of ... is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 31.8% during ... medium enterprises (MSMEs) across the world and high industrial activity ...
(Date:3/11/2016)... -- http://www.apimages.com ) - --> http://www.apimages.com ) ... AP Images ( http://www.apimages.com ) - Germany ... the new refugee identity cards. DERMALOG will be unveiling this device, ... Hanover next week.   --> Germany ... produce the new refugee identity cards. DERMALOG will be unveiling this ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/20/2016)... ... May 20, 2016 , ... The recent recall by Costco and Trader ... Safety News on May 12, 2016(1), demonstrates the need for faster and more cost ... biotech firm, PathSensors, Inc. , PathSensor’s latest solution uses a biosensor ...
(Date:5/19/2016)... , May 19, 2016 ... and (OTC PINK: RGBPP) announced today initiation of ... first cord blood based cancer immunotherapeutic product leveraging ... application, Regen described a generation of cord blood ... by gene silencing.  The product in development will ...
(Date:5/18/2016)... ... , ... STACS DNA Inc., the sample tracking software company, today announced that ... processing to help them save time and reduce errors. , Sexual Assault kits are ... and victims informed of results. Due to a previous lack of tools, many forensic ...
(Date:5/17/2016)... McKinney, Texas (PRWEB) , ... May 17, 2016 ... ... product for use in animal waste reduction applications, announced today it will be ... Des Moines, Iowa. , ManureMagicâ„¢ was featured in the Wall Street Journal last ...
Breaking Biology Technology: